Philanthropist Yusuf Hamied has made a generous donation to the Royal Society of Chemistry to support chemistry teachers and students

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Indian business leader, scientist and philanthropist, Yusuf Hamied, today announced he is donating INR 8 Crore (£800,000) to the Royal Society of Chemistry to support an innovative chemistry education programme for school students in India, especially those from less-advantaged backgrounds.

Yusuf, who is the chairperson of the generic pharmaceuticals company Cipla and has pioneered the model of producing affordable medicines for patients in developing countries, is making the generous donation to support the Royal Society of Chemistry Hamied Inspirational Chemistry Programme.

The programme will be managed by the RSC in partnership with the UK's Salters Institute and leading Indian academic institutes to enhance the skills and knowledge of Indian chemistry teachers and inspire school students to study chemistry at university. Over the next five years, the programme aims to:

  • equip 8,000 teachers across India with the specialist knowledge and skills to deliver exciting and engaging chemistry lessons, and to pass this knowledge on to their colleagues;  
  • provide 1,600 of the brightest chemistry students from all backgrounds with places at Chemistry Camps to motivate them to reach the necessary standards to study chemistry at university.     

Yusuf said: 'To inspire the next generation of great Indian scientists we must equip our teachers with the specialist knowledge and practical skills they need to show their students that chemistry is a fascinating and stimulating subject that has many important applications in modern life. 

'Just as teachers pass on their knowledge to their pupils, this programme will support the most talented chemistry teachers in India to train their colleagues to deliver informative and exciting chemistry lessons country - a "train the trainer" approach. I am very pleased to support this sustainable model for teacher training which will allow the programme to reach thousands of teachers across the country.'

Chief executive of the RSC, Robert Parker, said: 'We're most effective when we work together, so we want to support and enhance standing initiatives and work with existing networks to deliver the best possible results. As the programme evolves, we will be looking to engage more leading partners in India. Everyone in the chemistry community has a part to play in inspiring the future generation of scientists.'